Missing Your Local Library During the Quarantine? Check Out These Free Online Digital Library Apps

Considering you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re missing your local library. They’ve truly become invaluable social hubs for our communities. All in all, we’re in a situation that nobody ever wanted our world to be in. We need to stick together, especially as readers in this difficult time.

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Still while they’re off limits, I’ve had a few people asking about digital resources to keep reading for free. As per your requests, I’ve collected a few of them for you. If you’re looking for reading for your e-reader, tablet, or computer, here are a few sources where you can check out digital books via your local library:

Overdrive (via Rakuten) – Also known as Libby. You can use this service to check out books via your local library.

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Hoopla Digital – Many libraries use this so you can check out a few e-books or audiobooks a month via your library card.

Sora – An app through Overdrive for student reading.

Or if you’re a more adventurous sort, you can find plenty of free E-books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Scribd, Rakuten, and more on an every day basis. Books go on sale all the time, so keep checking back to see what offerings there are every day.

On a better note, if you still prefer going through your local library, a number of my books are available to check out through Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla Digital with your library card. If you’d like to see if they’re in your local library, check them out here.

Hope this article helps!

All my love,

Author Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Thanks for visiting my website! While you’re here, as a thank you for visiting, make sure to claim your free copy of Still Death, a scifi military novella below before you go!

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Heads Up Ladies! A Free Virtual Self-Defense Course For Women

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Hello everyone. Just wanted to pop up with a simple freebie for all of my readers, especially the ladies. I came across this complimentary self-defense course online by defense instructor Tiffany Armstrong and took it myself. It takes about forty-five minutes and wanted to pass it on to you all.

FYI, I get absolutely nothing out of this. No affiliate money, no nothing. I’ve only taken the free course, not any of her paid ones. As for the course itself, it was a pretty damn good bargain.

I just wanted to let you guys have the opportunity to take it. I even showed it my mom so she could learn, too. In these troubling times, we all need to keep on our toes and know how to defend ourselves.

FYI, as for any authors, this course might be helpful if you know little about self-defense. I even learned a few things and I’ve taken a few courses before.

For those of you who are interested, you can check it out HERE. Let’s kick ass, people!

Stay safe,

XO Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

A Frank Opinion About COVID-19 Coronavirus From A Science Fiction Author

We are not lemmings.

Let me repeat that again. WE ARE NOT LEMMINGS.

I’m sure a few of my readers are looking at this and wondering what the hell what I’m talking about. Remember the myth about the small, furry creatures jumping off a cliff on mass to their deaths, following one after the other in their fear? I think you get my point.

In actuality, when one looks at the documentary that Disney made called White Wilderness in 1958 where this phenomena was documented, one finds a disturbing fact: the filmmakers herded those lemmings toward the jump off point for a dramatic effect. This has become a documented fact. Lemmings don’t usually do it on their own. In actuality, they can be great survivalists and can swim great distances for food.

Either way, the point could be made that while people are deliberately being herded toward panic by their televisions or jumping all on their own to their panic states, things are getting out of hand… and quickly.

As an author who writes dramatic fantasy and science fiction where disasters occur on the regular and dictators rise along with hidden figures who operate the world from behind the scenes, the behavior I’m seeing from people is all too real. It’s exactly as I’ve fictionalized in my novels before, based on research and overall predictive psychology. But this time, it’s no longer just happening in a book. It’s happening now before my very eyes and over much lesser circumstances than I have written about in past.

What people fail to see is that when they allow themselves to fall prey to fear is that it makes their reactions all to predictable. Thinking in fear (or in many cases right now, blatant paranoia) is a sure fire way to make sure nothing gets done. Keeping a calm head and a rational disposition makes all the difference between survival and throwing oneself off the proverbial cliff.

While I am not at all saying that being prepared is bad, I’m seeing stupid decisions being made everywhere. For example, when out in stores over the weekend to get my essentials, everything was ransacked. Aisles were empty. Frozen foods were gone. Bottled water was gone. However, most of the actual essentials were not.

Things like peanut butter and other nut butters that keep for long periods of time were left. Applesauce, which also keeps preserved for long periods, sat untouched. Meanwhile, every food that will spoil within a week or two if it is not refrigerated was gone. Eggs, milk, meats… All hoarded.

The dollar store was likewise ransacked for supplies. They were sold out of toothpaste and hand sanitizer. Meanwhile, things like essential first aid supplies, cheap bags of rice, and of all things, SOAP, were in fine supply. I mean, soap?! The first thing recommended to do is washing your hands to kill this virus! Yet no one is worrying about soap shortages, are they?

There are entirely too many people behaving like this picture…

People are panic buying. Speaking as someone with specific medical needs, food allergies and whatnot, I try to plan ahead. Most all of the things I needed were still on the shelves, despite people scrounging to hoard their buys.

Why? Because I try to think ahead. If I couldn’t get my usual rice foodstuffs since I’m gluten intolerant, I’d see if had some GF oatmeal left. I had a plan (one altogether not really needed since most of the nonperishables I usually buy were still on the shelves).

For goodness sake even, most of the fresh vegetables sat untouched. And despite most people’s concerns, they spoil rather slowly depending on what you buy. An apple can last a week or two, sometimes more. Most folks will blow through a bag of Doritos in an hour. Get my point?

Hoarding items that are not sensible is not going to help anyone. Price gauging has begun in the grocery stores because of it. People who actually need face masks for their medical conditions (such as myself) are unable to get them. I had a man with COPD approached me a week ago to ask where he could get a mask like mine because he couldn’t find any.

All together, all the hype is most likely just that: hype. While there is reason for concern, panic won’t help anyone. In fact, all it does is collectively weaken your immune response which makes you more susceptible to the virus.

My suggestions for you, dear reader? A spirit of fear has descended on our country, if not the whole world, and swiftly. We must not allow it to win out or nothing will be done. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1) PLAN RATIONALLY. Think of essential needs such as nonperishables if you must and for things such as medications. If you take medicines that will soon run out, think ahead. Toilet paper won’t save you if your heart medications run out.

2) MAKE A FAMILY PLAN. Everyone should already have one of these in case of any emergency perchance the worst occurs, no matter what. Even before this happening, you should have had one years ago. Discuss it STAT.

3) ONCE YOU HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER, CHILL OUT. If you’re at home, stop monitoring the television and internet for every ounce of rhetoric or fact that they drop. Remember that these programs have sponsors who make money off of your viewership. They profit off of your panic. Websites will get affiliate funds for serving you ads for pandemic supplies.

4) DO YOUR BEST TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES INSTEAD OF BIG BOX STORES. They will be the hardest hit out of all this. Many people forget that big companies like Walmart have huge government contracts. Your Mom and Pops stores won’t have that to keep feeding their families.

5) When you’ve finally calmed down, keep yourself entertained. There are a great deal of fantastic creators out there who could distract you from your problems. If you’re a television lover, perhaps check out some comedy to keep your spirits high.

If you’re a lover of books, there are plenty of fantastic indie authors in every genre who could use some support through this period as well. They, too, have families to feed. If you particularly miss your local library, see if they have a digital book rental service. Many libraries have Hoopla digital or the like to allow you to keep reading without the germaphobe factor.

*There are plenty of digital children’s books as well via Amazon or otherwise, so if you have a child at home away from school, perhaps reading a digital book to them might be a handy way to keep kids busy!

6) And above all else, help others who can’t help themselves. Your local elderly neighbor is probably in a lot more danger than you are, so see if you can do something to help them out during this difficult period. Maybe pick up their groceries for them if they are more inclined to be in danger from the virus and should not go out. Pray for the people in your community who are at the most risk.

This is our opportunity to show the world we are not mere animals. We care about the people in our communities and need to come together to combat the fear pervading our collective minds.

There is nothing to fear than fear itself is a common thing to remember. Just keep in mind that there are plenty of people who profit from such rampant panic. And you, my dear reader, are likely not one of them.

Thank you for listening to me and if you would please share this article, I would be most grateful. For this world, we need to shake everyone up. Rationality needs to prevail as does calm.

Much love and prayers in this difficult time,

Author Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

(For those who need some distraction, I’m offering a free E-Book this week as a gift for you all to keep you calm. Make sure to download it before it’s gone!)

For a more spiritual view of the virus and the response therein, here’s a very good video from a lovely man I know. Thank you, Marcus.

Q&A With Urban Fantasy & Scifi Author Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

– Oh, this truly is a difficult question for me! As an inquisitive personality type, limiting to just three is a quite the task. Perhaps the first I’d start out with is God himself. That’d answer a great deal of my questions over the years about humanity! As for the next two, I’d have to say Ronald Reagan and Robert Ludlum. Robert Ludlum because the Bourne Identity was one of my favorite books that inspired me as a writer and Ronald Reagan for a great multitude of reasons about our world as it stands in the now.

How do you think your writing style has changed over the years?

For the better, I hope! Humor aside, I firmly believe that the more a person writes over time, the better they become. You start to see patterns or areas where you need to improve, so you become more proficient at story telling. In particular, I myself noticed that I favored certain words too much and lacked a certain sense of urgency at times when I was in my first two years of writing. When it was pointed out to me, I went to work on it and, in turn, improved a great deal.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

It takes some time to realize it thereafter, but I feel that my real life makes it into my novels all the time. For example, I realized that one of the scenes in War Machine (science fiction series) was actually a reflection of a serious operation I had. *SPOILER* Sierrenna was strapped to a table, another character preparing to torture her. The descriptions I wrote reflected the way I felt when I myself was going under the knife. But it took me years to realize the connection.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read all my reviews. Everyone can learn something from their critics, even if it is just that the internet is sometimes a dark place where trolls hang out from time to time. From my reviews, I can see what people enjoy and what they do not. Or at worst, I learn that they do not read very well at all. The only one star review I have ever gotten was a complaint because the piece in question was not a full book, even though the buy page itself read that it was just a short story that they were purchasing and stated directly in the title. Sometimes keeping a sense of humor about yourself and your reviewers truly does help!

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Remembering that the thought process in many cases can be entirely different than yours is helpful. A man tends to think about his obstacles differently than a woman and vice versa. Remembering that while plotting is very helpful.

What inspired you to start writing? How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing on and off since I was a toddler, but never truly took it seriously until my late teens. So, in a broad sense, I suppose I could say I have been writing my whole life. On a more professional scale, a little over a decade.

Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

One helpful tip is to remember that your keyboard is not judging you. YOU are judging you. A first draft is most always going to stink, even for professional novelists. “The first draft is to tell yourself the story” is a quote by Terry Pratchett. I agree with it. Every draft thereafter is to tell the story to your reader and to refine the writing itself. There may be many drafts. Or on contrast, there may be a few. The trick is to keep at it, even when your internal critic is being particularly brutal.

How do you feel when people recognize you in public and appreciate your work?

Elated! One of my favorite things to do is discuss their thoughts about the story or character in question. Sometimes they reveal things that I myself missed. One reader insisted that I foreshadowed my own tale in an instance with a particular sentence. After speaking with her, I realized she was indeed right! It did foreshadow another plot point I hadn’t even thought of.

Questions were submitted anonymously by readers. Thanks for reading! If you have a question for me, feel free to comment below.

As a thanks for stopping by, make sure to download your free copy of STILL DEATH before you go! It’s a best seller that usually retails for .99 cents elsewhere, but free here for you and only on my website. Sign up below for your copy to be delivered straight to your inbox!

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It Must Be Spring… I’m Hatching Something Big – #BloodWar

Salutations to all my readers. My lawn looks like a rabbit has been murdered on it. Clumps of white fluff are everywhere, leading everyone to a false conclusion. We don’t have white rabbits around here. The small brown ones are just fine, reproducing over the last few years like… well, rabbits.

What in fact has occurred is that Mishka got his spring de-shedding. Consider the size of a grocery store paper bag then imagine it filled to the brim with white, fine hair. Then consider the volume of everything left on the lawn from the process that blew away before I could catch. And then every wad left over on my pants so that I now look like I had a field of dandelions explode on me. Needless to say, Mishka looks about thirty pounds lighter.

Why am I telling you this? The good news is that he only produces that much hair twice a year when he blows out of his winter and summer coats. Meaning SPRING MUST BE HERE. Screw it Punxsutawney Phil. Mishka’s furry buns have better predicted the seasons over the last eight years with more accuracy. If he’s getting rid of his winter coat, it means we’re close to the end of the frigid cold.

Meanwhile, (now that the fuzzy PSA is over), I can update you on a few things. Since Outfoxed has been released and so has Black Hart (to rave reviews from you my dear readers), I have a few people demanding to know what is next.

Cue the dramatic music. Before I officially unveil my current project (which will have quite few of you cheering!) I will say that early this summer, Forgotten Hart from my Väktare of All Realms series will be out. It’s almost through edits and all that author jazz that I specialize in. More details to follow soon and Shira Hart’s adventure will continue with a HUGE BANG, but I cut to the chase…

BLOOD WAR: Defiance, the now titled book three in the Destiny in the Shadows series is coming to a book shelf near you very soon. In fact, I’m already over one hundred thousand words into it, so Rain and a few new friends will be coming your way likely by the end of summer 2020. Other than that, I can’t say too much without revealing spoilers, so I’ll put it in caps.


That being said, I can answer a few questions.

1) Will Cain McRattin be back? Now that truly is a clue to remember on the last page of Slave to War. Duh. As per reading, we all know he’s still alive. The question is where he’ll have been and in what condition considering Blood War takes place ten years after the events of Slave to War. Yes, I am a very mean author. I love romance and angst and frequently dabble in both at the same time. And Blood War won’t lack either, trust me.

2) The request by one (and only one I might add) of my readers to kill Michael Xorratti has been dually noted. Will I take the firmly screamed at me suggestion? Author’s prerogative dictates I listen to you like a cat takes commands from its master. I’ll pretend like I haven’t heard you and knock a few things off a counter at the same time in response. You’ll have to read to find out.

3) What happened to Rogee? Again, why ruin the surprise? I’m a very, very mean author making you wait.

4) Things to look forward to? In this book, we’ll finally get to see MoiRai as well as meet the extended members of Rain’s family, including Rain’s mother. Needless to say, things will get hot very quickly. Master Rascorr will be met as well, so new worlds will be discovered.

5) Will John McRattin play a bigger part in this book? Woo, whoever sent me this query, you are very keenly astute. I’ve left subtle clues along the way through the first two books, so you shall see what I have been leading up to. The Green Dragon will be flying soon, so keep your seatbelts on. There’s going to be a lot of friction along the way…

6) What about the baby?!!! Baby? What baby? Was there a baby mentioned in Slave to War? Perhaps there were two? I’ve even included a complementary baby Yoda GIF to brace you for the fact I won’t be divulging what happens to Trystan… Oops. Is that a clue?

Indeed, I am a very #MeanAuthor. See? It’s even becoming a hashtag of me! Feel free to tweet about it:

@maggielynnhh is a very mean (THOUGH AWESOME) author. #MeanAuthor ❤ Tweet this to show your support! #BloodWar #DestinyintheShadows

That pretty much sums it up. I’d love it if any of you readers have expectations for book three. I try to listen to my readers, so if there’s something you want to see, I may take it into account. Feel free to DM me on Facebook or comment below the article. Even better, subscribe to my newsletter. You get a free book out of it (STILL DEATH, a best seller on Amazon!) and you can also email me directly then whenever you want by replying to me there. Again, I try to reply!

Well, that sums up our time together for today, but I hope I haven’t left you overly frustrated. BLOOD WAR IS COMING SUMMER 2020. STAY TUNED PEOPLE. THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET HOT. LIKE WWIII HOT…

Feel free to tweet your excitement…

I’m #Excited for Blood War: Defiance – #Book 3 in the Destiny in the Shadows series by @maggielynnhh. Added to my TBR list for summer 2020!